NASA to air briefing, spacewalks to upgrade space station

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NASA spacewalker Kayla Barron is pictured during a six-hour and 32 minute spacewalk on Dec. 2, 2021, to replace a failed antenna system on the International Space Station's Port-1 truss structure. Credits: NASA

WASHINGTON D.C. – Crew members from International Space Station Expedition 66 will conduct two spacewalks Tuesday, March 15, and Wednesday, March 23, to continue upgrades to the orbiting laboratory.

NASA will discuss the upcoming spacewalks during a news conference at 2:00 p.m. EDT Monday, March 14. Live coverage of the news conference and spacewalks will air on NASA Television, the agency’s website (https://www.nasa.gov/nasalive), and the NASA app (https://www.nasa.gov/connect/apps.html).

News conference participants are:

  • Joel Montalbano, manager, NASA International Space Station program
  • Dina Contella, operations integration manager, NASA International Space Station program
  • Mike Lammers, March 15 spacewalk flight director
  • Sandra Moore, March 15 spacewalk officer
  • Paul Konyha, March 23 spacewalk flight director
  • Sandra Fletcher, March 23 spacewalk officer

Coverage will begin at 6:30 a.m. for the Tuesday, March 15, spacewalk, which will begin around 8:05 a.m. Coverage will begin at 7:30 a.m. for the Wednesday, March 23, spacewalk, which will be begin around 8:50 a.m. Both spacewalks will last approximately 6 hours, 30 minutes.

NASA Flight Engineers Kayla Barron and Raja Chari will conduct the Tuesday, March 15, spacewalk, designated U.S. EVA 79, assembling and installing modification kits required for upcoming solar array upgrades. The pair will install brackets and struts to support the future installation of an ISS Roll-Out Solar Array (iROSA). So far, two of six iROSAs have been deployed on station with four additional arrays to be delivered. The arrays will ultimately augment six of the station’s eight power channels, increasing the station’s total available power from 160 kilowatts to up to 215 kilowatts.

Barron will serve as extravehicular crewmember 1 (EV 1) and will wear a suit with red stripes. Chari will serve as extravehicular crewmember 2 (EV 2) and will wear a suit with no stripes. The spacewalk will be the second of Barron’s career and the first for Chari.

For the Wednesday, March 23, spacewalk, designated U.S. EVA 80, two astronauts will install hoses on a Radiator Beam Valve Module that routes ammonia through the station’s heat-rejecting radiators to keep systems at the proper temperature. The crew members will also install a power and data cable on the Columbus module’s Bartolomeo science platform, replace an external camera on the station’s truss and conduct other upgrades to station hardware.

Astronaut roles for the Wednesday, March 23, spacewalk will be confirmed after the first spacewalk is completed.

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For more information about the International Space Station, its research, and crew, visit:

https://www.nasa.gov/station.